Farmer angry with dog-owners' fines
A FARMER has slammed magistrates for issuing fines of just £30 to the owners of two dogs that attacked one of his pedigree cows near Crantock.
Roger Rundle had to fork out £80 on vets' bills alone after one of the pets tore open the animal's lip while the other clamped its teeth onto her udder.
The South Devon cow was worth between £2,000 and £3,000, he said, but would now only fetch "slaughter value" of around £1,000 as she now only has three working teats.
Mr Rundle, 63, said he had just come back from a holiday in Venice to be told the outcome of the hearing at Bodmin Magistrates' Court earlier this month.
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Katherine Stott, 59, of Trenance Caravan Park, and her daughter Kayleigh, 27, of Pendragon Crescent, admitted owning dogs that were dangerous and not kept under proper control. Both were ordered to pay £30.
Mr Rundle said: "It's not even as much as a parking fine. It makes an absolute mockery of the system and I'm absolutely disgusted. What a waste of public money. They haven't even been told to keep the dogs muzzled from what I hear, just to keep them on a lead. It's not sending out the right signals to give a slap on the wrist like this."
The Cornish Guardian reported on June 8 that Mr Rundle had vowed to shoot dogs that attacked livestock on his land at Kestle Mill Farm, or on fields he rents above the Gannel.
"What if it had been a child?" he said. "A bullet in the head is the best thing for them. We've got a problem with these dogs and it's still continuing."
Katherine Stott told this paper in June that she was a responsible dog-owner and agreed with the law that states farmers are legally permitted to shoot any animal that threatens livestock on their land.
She said she had been walking along the Gannel on her way to meet her daughter, her daughter's boyfriend, and six of her eight grandchildren for a picnic.
She was throwing a Frisbee for Hooch, a mastiff/bull terrier cross, who ran towards the bank below a field of four cows. Her daughter's boyfriend then ran after him, followed by his dog Marley, who thought it was a "game", she said. The dogs then chased one cow back down onto the beach.
"You couldn't have predicted it," she said. "We were going under the cow, trying to pull the dog away. My hand was trampled and the cow then fell onto my daughter. I honestly thought she was going to be killed. It was very frightening."